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Catching up .. Eastern Southland area work broker Lee-Anne Hewlett (left) talks to regional labour market adviser Deb Sutton. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

To be a successful work broker you have to be able to build an easy rapport with people, think outside the box and have a sense of humour.There are a lot of temporary and seasonal work opportunities available in Eastern Southland, particularly in agriculture, manufacturing and food production, Gore Work and Income work broker Lee-Anne Hewlett says.

There has been a definite move towards shift work, temporary contracts and part-time vacancies, she said.

As at the end of June, there were 322 people in the Gore district receiving jobseeker support.

Mrs Hewlett said she often heard people say there was no work out there.

“I’m happy to say that work is out there for those seriously looking.”

A recent recruit at Gore Work and Income herself, Mrs Hewlett is the sole work broker in the Eastern Southland area.

She does not see herself as a matchmaker, but every day she does just that: she finds a match between people looking for work and employers looking for staff.

“I guess living in and around Gore for most of my life, I know a lot of people, which helps so much when you have a keen jobseeker in front of you trying to find work.

“Just the other day I had a jobseeker come and see me with a great set of skills and one of my contacts came to mind. I picked up the phone, called the employer and within a few hours that jobseeker had work.”

The role of a work broker is a diverse one.

It is all about providing a professional recruitment service across a wide range of industries and matching the talents of jobseekers to work opportunities.

“To be a successful work broker you have to be able to build an easy rapport with people, think outside the box and have a sense of humour.

“Pretty much, I have my finger on the job market pulse across our Eastern Southland district.”

Sometimes Mrs Hewlett will simply enable contact between an employer and jobseekers; other times she will help a jobseeker hone their interview skills and spruce up their CV, then promote them to suitable employers.

Southland’s low unemployment rate means employers are thinking differently about how to meet their recruitment needs, and Work and Income can be part of the solution.

“There are some pretty amazing people come through our doors looking for work.

“They have skills and experience that I know our local businesses need.

“Often the trick is about timing and, of course, knowing which employers are keen to take someone on.”